Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to meet with President Obama at the White House in November, administration officials said Friday, as the two leaders seek to mend a rift over Obama's pursuit of a nuclear accord with Iran.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said preparations are underway for the visit but added that no date has been set. The meeting would be the first between them since Netanyahu angered the White House by speaking against the Iran deal during an address to Congress in March.
Earnest played down the rift, emphasizing the "unshakable" bond between the two nations over security issues in the Middle East.
"I can't think of another situation in the 6 1/2 years of this presidency where there's been an ally of the United States with which we've had such a vigorous public disagreement," Earnest said during his daily briefing. "But the fact that the leaders of these two countries can come together and have a conversation and have an in-person meeting reflect the commitment from the leaders of both countries to the strength of this relationship."
Netanyahu told lawmakers that the accord "will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them." His overt lobbying on U.S. soil angered the White House, which did not invite him to meet with the president during that visit.
This week, Senate Democrats filibustered a resolution aimed at overturning the Iran deal.